Solon seeks travel pass from anti-graft court

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 12) — Davao del Norte 2nd District Representative Antonio Floirendo is seeking the Sandiganbayan's permission to travel for a vacation abroad ahead of the campaign season for the 2019 elections.

In a motion filed before the anti-graft court's Sixth Division, Floirendo said he plans to take a month-long trip to Hong Kong, Japan, and the U.S. from October 17 to November 10.

He explained he wanted to take the opportunity to travel while the House of Representatives is on session break and before the hectic campaign period.

"The accused-movant is seeking permission of the Court to travel prior to the campaign period of next year's elections where it is expected that the accused-movant will be deeply involved in both local and national positions," the motion filed on October 8, 2018 read.

Floirendo is seeking reelection. He was charged with graft in September 2017, accused of having financial interest in the contract between Tagum Agricultural Development Inc. and the Bureau of Corrections while he was district representative in 2003.

READ: Davao Rep. Floirendo ordered arrested for graft, posts bail  

The lawmaker noted previous trips he had taken while facing trial to prove that he is not a flight risk.

"The probability of accused fleeing the judicial process is practically nonexistent with his previous travels where he has repeatedly returned," Floirendo said.

His case stems from a complaint filed by former House Speaker and Davao del Norte 1st district Representative Pantaleon Alvarez before the Office of the Ombudsman.

Alvarez and Floirendo had a falling out early 2017 reportedly because of a spat between their girlfriends.